This amazing English woman has overcome many obstacles, exhibiting admirable fortitude and determination to become a successful writer. (Vicki)
Today’s author is Tracy Traynor – in her own words
About 25 years ago I started day-dreaming about a young woman running through a maze. Every day the day-dream would continue and expand. This went on for 3 months and I had no idea why. In the end I decided to write it down to see if it would go away. Well the first bit did then more and more ‘fell’ into my mind. Before I knew it, I had written a whole book by hand.
Being dyslexic and believing I wasn’t very bright, I didn’t do anything with it, but I placed the hand-written manuscript in a box.
A new start
Several years later, my son got a computer and when I realized the computer could check spelling, I decided to re-write the book.
My Facebook friend, David, told me about indie-publishing on Amazon and that it was free, I didn’t have anything to lose, right? David helped me get started. Without him believing in my writing, I might never have started publishing.
To my amazement my book sold, not great numbers just a few here and there, but the comments encouraged me to write the next two books in the series.
However, I was flooded by people telling me it was still full of errors, not surprising as my grammar is just awful, so I paid to have it professionally edited. I’ve actually had it edited a second time because different people notice different things. I would say without these edits the book would have been a pain to read.
I became serious about writing when I first self-published on Amazon in February 2016. Now I’m dreaming now of giving up my day time job as a finance manager, so that I can dedicate all my time to writing. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to afford that but I’m always hopeful.
I wanted to write for adults, who like me had difficulty reading but still enjoyed a good story. I therefore wanted it to be easy to read with an uncomplicated plot line. Because of this people told me I was writing a children’s book, maybe in the 8 to 15 age range. I still don’t feel it’s a children’s book, so I classified it as Young Adult Fantasy.
I have managed to sell 1,400 books in the last two years by working my socks off. I have no idea if this is good, bad or terrible because I don’t know what other indie-authors sell. To achieve this, I work very hard on Twitter, building up a followers list of 19k. I have also advertised on Facebook a few times with a tiny bit of success. In 2018, my books reached number 8 in the Children’s Fantasy category.
I have advertised on Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads and Twitter. My favorite is Goodreads, I don’t get many clicks, so it doesn’t cost me much as I only pay per click, but usually the few clicks I get result in a purchase. Sometimes I have spent £80 ($112 US) to £100 ($140 US) advertising on Facebook or Amazon and not had a single sale.
Advice for beginning writers
My advice to other indie-authors is make friends with other authors, join author groups where people share knowledge freely! Be willing to give as well as take. Be willing to share your experiences and help someone a bit further down the ladder than you; there is a great sense of camaraderie to be had that really encourages you to carry on.
My second piece of advice is, be prepared to work hard. Writing the novel can be quite fun, but that fun soon runs out the door when you are on your fifth edit, trust me. And promoting is even harder.
My last word of advice is: have thick skin. I’ve cried many a tear over a bad review. People are all different not everyone will enjoy your story and the sooner you realize that the better you’ll be able to handle it. Of course, I also cry over the lovely reviews so maybe I’m just a soppy thing.
The Born to Be series is currently a set of 3 books, the 4th is outlined but not begun.
More of Tracy’s links:
Published: The three-book series, The Children of Light is now available in paperback and eBook on Amazon. The three books have also been published together in a trilogy.
As the editor of this blog, I accept responsibility for any errors. My guest is blameless. Vicki Wootton